Do I Have A Small Claims Case Against My Former Roommate?

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I had a month-to-month verbal agreement to rent for a room paying $800 a month. After a dispute, she asked me to move out immediately after I had paid the month’s rent. She kept the balance of the rent. She claims she doesn’t have to give me anything because we had no contract, but I managed to get her on recording saying we had such an agreement. Do I have a small-claims case against her?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You may have a claim. The question is not, as your landlord is trying to claim, whether you had a written contract or not. The question is, how much notice of termination are you entitled to under your state’s laws?

The other question is, how much is your claim worth? If your landlord had followed the proper procedure, you would have been able to stay there longer, but of course you would have had to pay rent during that time. So whatever losses you incurred need to be offset by the rent you didn’t pay to her.

If you’ve still got a loss after you take that into account, I would certainly suggest looking into small claims court as an option to resolve your dispute. Small claims is designed to be inexpensive and available to non-attorneys, so you have little to lose by making the effort.



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Author: House Attorney